From my upcoming book
We All Have Five Fingers
My Quest with the Bedik Tribe
(While I went to listen and learn about the African roots to my beliefs and religion, I learned something far less lofty about myself.)
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.Hermann Hesse, Baume
Bedik tribe village of Iwol in remote Southeast Senegal
Janis: "Chief Keita, you mentioned that the Bedik pray. Please tell me how you pray."
Chief Jean Baptiste Keita: "When we pray to the sacred Baobab tree or to the Fromager tree, the prayers are directed there and from there the God transmits the prayers to our dead ancestors.
" So you see, trees are sacred to us, we Bedik.
"For example, if you consider that sacred big Baobab tree which is measuring 33 meters and a half, it was planted on the tomb of dead Keita, the Keita family. The Keita family was the first to settle here. It was the Keita family, which was buried there. Now you know that there is a tomb under the sacred baobab.
"At the beginning of every year we go and say prayers around the tree, to implore our ancestors."